ADHD and Co-existing Disorders
More than two-thirds of ADHDers have a co-existing disorder. Any disorder can co-exist with ADHD, but certain disorder occurs more often.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
ODD is a disruptive behavior disorder.
Those who have ODD show patterns of anger and irritability. Most children go through a phase where they are defiant. This makes it hard to recognize ODD.
According to CHADD, a national resource for ADHD, up to half of all ADHD children have ODD. The good news is children can outgrow ODD with patience and discipline.
Adults can have ODD as well.
Up to 50 percent of those with ADHD have a coexisting learning disorder, dyslexia being the most common.
Dyslexia makes it challenging to learn how to read and recognize words. Children with dyslexia often fall behind in academics and general knowledge in comparison to their peers.
About 38 percent of adults ADHDers have a mood disorder. The most obvious symptom of a mood disorder is sudden changes in mood for no apparent reason.
- 14 percent of children with ADHD have depression.
- 47 percent of adults with ADHD have depression.
As someone with ADHD, I can’t say I’m surprised with these numbers. Being happy isn’t easy in a world where everyone’s “normal” is different from your own.
Up to 30 percent of children ADHDers and up to 53 percent of adult ADHDers have an anxiety disorder. People with anxiety over-worry about problems.
We all experience anxiety. But if you continue to feel it for weeks or even years on a daily basis, you may have an anxiety disorder.
About 7 percent of those with ADHD have Tourettes, but 60 percent of those with Tourette syndrome have ADHD.
Symptoms of Tourette syndrome include involuntary movement and speech.
Most people know about Tourettes because they saw it on TV. Contrary to popular belief, most cases of Tourette syndrome are so mild they go undiagnosed or are mistaken for something else.
10 Surprising Facts About ADHD
1. ADHD Can Have Advantages
People with ADHD have a unique superpower that allows them to enter an intense state of mental focus. We call it hyperfocus.
This power is very useful in the hands of an entrepreneur, athlete or self-employed person.
Here’s proof to back that claim up:
- Richard Branson founded a billion dollar company. He has ADHD.
- Serena Williams is a tennis world champion. She has ADHD.
- Michael Jordan is a living legend on and off the basketball court. He has ADHD.
- David Neeleman founded JetBlue Airlines. He has ADHD.
- Michael Phelps has won gold medals in the Olympics. He has ADHD.
- Emma Watson starred as Hermione in Harry Potter. She has ADHD.
Don’t get me wrong, many ADHDers don’t use ADHD to their advantage. But that’s because those people are fighting against ADHD instead of embracing who they are.
2. People With ADHD Have Amazing Qualities
- Gumption: ADHD people are known for not being able to focus… on boring stuff. But when it comes to stuff they find interesting, challenging, curious, or urgent, they will pour their mind and body into it.
- Creativity: ADHDers lose focus when they get bored, so they often daydream for fun. This helps them make connections (whether by accident or not) others wouldn’t dream of, literally. People say creativity is a symptom of ADHD. I believe ADHD is a symptom of creativity.
- A sense of humor: The funniest people you know are those who suffer the most on the inside, where you can’t see. The average person with ADHD fits that description. .
- Unique perspectives: People with ADHD are often objective. Because of this, they look at situations from multiple angles. Maybe it’s because ADHDers are by default set apart from everyone else.
- Pragmatic: Having ADHD makes it easier for you to analyze situations and form connections. Inventors like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison had symptoms of ADHD.
- Tolerance: Many ADHDers go through more than a “normal” amount of life struggles. They know as much about suffering as they do joy. This makes ADHDers good at connecting and empathizing with others.
3. ADHDers Don’t Have Trouble Sustaining Attention
There’s a common misconception out there that people with ADHD can’t focus on anything and their minds always wander. That’s only half true (our minds do wander often.)
ADHDers can focus on things they like far better than anyone else who likes the same thing can. But what they really have trouble with is controlling their attention. There are 4 elements that glue ADHDers. (I’ll explain those directly below.)